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Flesh and Blood

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Album Review

Not as derivative as some of her earlier recordings, this Maddy Prior album hinted at a direction change for the longtime British folk singer. If ever a voice begged for pipes and whistle backing, it's Prior's. She never received that type of support with Steeleye Span, so it was promising to discover that Troy Donockley would co-produce and play on Flesh and Blood. He's a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in uilleann pipes and is a fine low whistler as well. Too bad that union didn't fully pan out here. Donockley had one pipe solo ("Finlandia") and played the intro and closing fade on "Heart of Stone," so unfortunately the two ne'er did meet. The best cuts are the traditional pieces, "Sheath and Knife" and "Bitter Withy" — the former dealing with such dubious predicaments as incest and murder, and the latter a tale describing the abuse of power wielded by a young, impish Jesus. The last seven selections, subtitled "Dramatis Personae," are melancholy and personal originals penned by Prior and Rick Kemp that favor the keyboards of the other co-producer, Nick Holland.


Born: August 14, 1947 in Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Maddy Prior has established herself, by dint of both talent and time, as one of the leading female singers in British folk (and folk-rock). Born in Black Pool, in her teens Prior moved to St. Albans (outside London), where she developed an interest in traditional English music. Through friends she found her way to the treasure trove of material at Cecil Sharpe House and also to Ewan MacColl, the de facto leader of the folk revival. In the late '60s, she met Tim Hart, an accomplished singer and instrumentalist,...
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Flesh and Blood, Maddy Prior
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